Submitted by Jim Mitchell, OSU Communications
As accolades begin to flow, the OSU Jazz Orchestra is promoting its first commercially-released CD, “Solid Gold,” at a release party, which will follow its first concert of the semester at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at the Seretean Center Concert Hall. The party will also help bring attention to a new jazz minor, new jazz/funk faculty and jazz/funk lessons offered in the Oklahoma State University Music Department.
The album, which features Grammy-winning trombonist and composer Michael Dease, is produced, directed, and mixed by Dr. Tommy Poole, director of jazz studies and assistant professor of music at OSU.
“We’re really pleased with the initial reaction to the CD,” said Poole. “To get four stars from the largest jazz CD reviewer in the galaxy, the online jazz magazine All About Jazz, is an honor. Most university jazz groups get 3.5 stars at best. This brings international recognition to the OSU Jazz Studies Program.”
The online reviewer, Jack Bowers, calls the OSU ensemble’s performance on the album “exemplary,” and insists that adding Michael Dease to the mix results in “...a tasty banquet that’s sure to quicken the appetite of almost any champion of straight-ahead big-band jazz.”
Bowers compares Dease to the late master trombonist Frank Rosolino and describes Dease as a “splendid composer ... whose engaging themes are among the album’s highlights.”
The music critic also details several positive contributions by OSU Jazz Orchestra members, who perform solos throughout the album.
Poole started studying Michael Dease’s compositions and trombone playing in 2014 and describes being “blown away” by his talent. He soon contacted Dease who agreed to recording dates in May 2017. Poole immediately initiated the lengthy process of arranging and writing music for the project. He also involved jazz orchestrators and arrangers from around the country who volunteered their talents and time.
“The students, Mike, and I spent two-and-a-half days recording “Solid Gold.” To say the students enjoyed the recording process with a two-time Grammy winner of Mike's caliber is an understatement,” Poole said. “Mike was his usual incredible self throughout the process, and the students truly played their hearts out. I spent the summer mixing the album and we're thrilled with the listener response.”
Poole, who contributed an original composition and three arrangements of his own to the album, said he’s hoping for a crowd at the CD release party. Appetizers and drinks will be provided by The Ranchers Club. Hard copies of “Solid Gold” as well as digital download codes will be available at the party for a reduced price.
Poole is inviting OSU Stillwater students in any major to be aware of the new jazz minor that’s now available on campus as well as new faculty and related courses. In addition to new jazz/funk lessons offered for rhythm section instrumentalists (bassists, drummers, guitarists, and pianists), OSU now offers a one-credit hour rhythm section class that meets once weekly, every fall and spring semester, where students meet and practice with other rhythm section players while being guided by the new faculty.
“I want all OSU Stillwater students to know they are welcome to enroll in these lessons and/or a rhythm section class,” said Poole. “In my experience, this is an incredible opportunity to work with some of the strongest jazz/funk/commercial players in the region. Rhythm section classes and private lessons are open to all students regardless of experience level, and regardless of major.”
Tickets to the concert include the CD release party that follows and are $10 for general admission and $7 for students and senior citizens. They are available online by going to music.okstate.edu and clicking on the News and Events link. Tickets will be available online until 4 p.m. the afternoon of the concert. They will go on sale in the Seretean Center’s box office one hour before the performance.
Tickets are also available, weekdays, at the Music Department office, room 132, in the Seretean Center.
Don’t want to wait for the reduced price at the CD party? Order online now at store.cdbaby.com and search for “Solid Gold” or click on the following link https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/osujazzorchestrafeaturin
Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years.